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Reflections of a working writer and reader

 

 

Presque vu XXXX

News from Burma:

YANGON, Myanmar – Myanmar’s military junta rang in the New Year by dramatically raising the annual fee for TV satellite dishes in an apparent move to limit access to the foreign news channels that beamed in global criticism of its recent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

The license fee has rocketed from US$5 to $800 – an unaffordable sum to most people in Myanmar. It is equivalent to about three times the annual salary of a public school teacher.

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PRWatch is keeping an eye on Tony Blair:

Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has agreed to become a part-time adviser to the global financial services firm JPMorgan Chase where, the Financial Times reports, he “will use his experience and contacts to provide political and strategic advice to the US bank and participate in some client events.” Blair resigned as leader of the parliamentary wing of British Labor Party in June 2007. While the fee for the position has not been disclosed, a New York recruitment firm suggested that it “was likely to be more than $1m (£500,000) a year.” Blair stated that he was looking at accepting “a small handful” of similar positions with other companies.

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Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers speaking about the Amazon Kindle book reader, which he said would go nowhere largely because Americans have stopped reading:

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

One Response to “Presque vu XXXX”

  1. Shawn says:

    I have to generally agree with Steve Jobs about American’s lack of interest in reading. However, there is a pretty good article in Harper’s Magazine (http://www.harpers.org) by Ursula K. LeGuin entitled “Staying Awake: Notes on the Alleged Decline of Reading” which makes an interesting counterpoint to this assertion. Unfortunately, the article is only available online to subscribers, but you can read the opening premise of her argument in the teaser, here:
    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081907

    jb says: Thanks for the link, Shawn. It would be interesting to get some historical figures for the ‘high’ and ‘low’ points of reading.